The Opinionated Foodie: The Love (or Not) of Food and Everything That Goes with It

The Cheese Stands Alone: Making Homemade Mozzarella

Once upon a time, there was a girl who thought she could cook. That girl had taken a cooking class once about the finer points of cheese and how one would make cheese. So, the girl, thinking she could do such, ordered a cheese kit from Amazon.

Isn’t that how all great stories start?

003So, my cheesemaking kit came in the neatest little package with the happiest little cows on it. Happy cows are a great sign, I always say.

When it came time to make the cheese, I followed the directions pretty easily.
It wasn’t hard at all-more like chemistry than cooking. I just added some things and stirred and such.
Everything went well until I got to the stretching phase of the cheese making. I am not sure what went wrong, but my cheese was not stretchy and smooth. It was more gloppy and awkward.
Still, it was yummy beyond words. When I cut the cheese (he he!), it was warm, salty, and chewy all in a good way. I loved it. It took a whole gallon of milk to make it, which is a sacrifice for us. Still, it was great.
I was proud of myself for making cheese even if it wasn’t perfect.
I just love happy endings….



Whose first stop on vacation was an Amish cheese store?

This girl’s.

I adore Amish food stores. And cheese. And shopping. So, so fun.


The last time we traveled this route, it was a Sunday so the store, Ada’s Country Store, was closed. Since we couldn’t stop, we spent probably the next fifty miles naming the types of cheeses the sign claimed were there.

All twenty of them.

This time, the store was open, and we got to stop. A dream has come true.

And, I am sure I am the only food dork who took pictures while shopping. Or who yelled, “Look! Look at this!” over and over.

I had a blast and got a pumpkin whoppie pie and some curds.

This is the life. Gotta love vacation and Amish cheese shops.

Super Bowl Recipe #5-Cheesey Chicken and Spinach Dip

“Speak well of this in your blog.”

Words my husband said to me. It was dinner time, and he was poised for the next bite of this dip, corn chip in hand.

He had found this recipe for me, and he asked me to try it for the big game. I made it, and he liked it enough to endorse its praises for you here. He ate all of his and part of mine.

Problem-I didn’t like it so much.

The recipe was easy, but I thought the dip had a twang. It just didn’t taste right to me, and I thought it was way too cheesy.

He loved it.

Try it, and see what you think.

The recipe-

One can of diced tomatoes, drained
One pound of Velveeta, cubed
One 10 oz. package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained (I didn’t do this. I just plopped it in with the rest of the stuff.)
One cube of cream cheese, cubed
2 chicken breasts
5 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled

Cube the chicken breasts and sauté until cooked through. Shred and drop in the crock pot. Add all the rest of the ingredients. Warm on high for an hour, stirring often to incorporate the cheeses. When ready to eat, top with the crumbled bacon.





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